Insulation Talk - December 2015
Welcome to our InsulationTalk e-bulletin. We hope you find our news informative and useful on keeping you up to date on our progress within product development and manufacturing as well as the latest news within the industry.
In this issue....
- Knauf Insulation Named Supplier Of The Year
- Local Authority Energy Index: Helping Deliver Energy Programmes
- Showcase of Latest Innovations in our New Sustainability Report
- Knauf Insulation Provides An Exceptional External Solution
- Chancellor's Spending Review - thoughts from Josh Robson
- Leading Manufacturer Welcomes Labour MP To Northern Base
Knauf Insulation Named Supplier Of The Year
Knauf Insulation is delighted to announce that it has been named Supplier of the Year at this year’s Builders’ Merchants Awards, which were held at the Lancaster Hotel in London.
The UK’s leading insulation manufacturer impressed the judges with an award entry that detailed the lengths it had gone to in developing and producing product and service offerings specifically for merchants. Responding to merchant needs, in-depth product training, tailored POS materials in branches and dedicated merchant support are just some of the areas where Knauf Insulation is focusing its resources to help merchants run their businesses as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
Lydia Sharples, Head of Communications Northern Europe at Knauf Insulation, commented: “We were very pleased to have been shortlisted as one of three finalists at this year’s Builders’ Merchants Awards, but to have actually been named Supplier of the Year is brilliant.
“We firmly believe that developing strong relationships with our customers is key to an effective supply chain and so winning the award is a testament to the hard work our dedicated resource teams undertake to support our merchant customers day in, day out. Indeed independent and national builders’ merchants have grown significantly within the construction industry, so it is of utmost importance that suppliers like ourselves help merchants increase the package offers that they have available for their contractor customers – big or small.”
Knauf Insulation was also named Supplier of the Year for the roofing and insulation category, for the third year running at this year’s National Buying Group (NBG) awards. Knauf Insulation’s Commercial Manager, John Gaunt, was too presented with the NBG Account Manager of the Year award.
Local Authority Energy Index: Helping To Deliver Large Scale Energy Programmes
In the 12 months since the pilot Local Authority Energy Index was published, the energy scene has changed significantly, both at a global and UK national level. As a result, this year’s Index – which has been developed by Knauf Insulation, in partnership with GE and supported by Green Investment Bank – has been significantly expanded to analyse over 103 local authorities and eight core cities’ performance in four key subject areas.
The primary aim of the Energy Index is to highlight best practice and raise issues of the common barriers for local authorities to delivering large-scale energy programmes. As such, this report considers how the 103 authorities are performing across four energy management areas: of own buildings, in the community, in housing and infrastructure. Combined, these local authorities cover 50% of the energy usage and 50% of the population of England.
Chris Witte, Marketing Director at Knauf Insulation comments: “Last year’s pilot study focused on 25 local authorities. The success of the campaign was in the positive response and feedback we’ve had from local authorities, validating the need for the report.
“Many councils have already taken steps to improve the energy efficiency of homes, offices and local transport, both within their estate and outside and this report recognises the ground covered; usually in difficult circumstances dealing with ‘stop-start’ central Government programmes, and always with constrained budgets.
“By creating a clear platform for engagement, the Energy Index helps local authorities to learn from each other, whilst providing a mechanism that encourages Government to adopt energy efficiency as a priority infrastructure investment. A key element in delivering this, is the capability of local authorities to be strategic delivery partners of such programmes.”
Knauf Insulation Showcases Latest Innovations In Its New Sustainability Report
Knauf Insulation has released its latest global sustainability report, Insulation Matters, which highlights the innovative new solutions it has developed to tackle some of the industry’s biggest challenges.
As well as highlighting the manufacturers’ sustainability achievements, such as cutting energy use by 15.3 per cent and reducing C02 emissions by 13.7 per cent, Insulation Matters also showcases a variety of Knauf Insulation’s solutions. For example, throughout the report the insulation manufacturer reviews the success of its blown-in glass mineral wool solution, Supafil® which has been designed for filling cavity walls. It also examines the benefits of its new lightweight and uncomplicated green roof solution, UrbanScape.
What’s more, with the demand for increasing information about product performance, there is detailed information on the recently released Environmental Performance Declarations (EPD), which Knauf Insulation has for a wide range of its products. Indeed, the UK’s leading insulation manufacturer is the first company to release this globally recognised standard that will allow construction companies, specifiers and the alike to gain an insight into a product’s environmental credentials.
Tony Robson, Knauf Insulation’s CEO, commented: “Simply manufacturing products is no longer enough. The industry wants fully integrated solutions — solutions that save time and energy, as well as delivering high performance.
“Our new report reveals how sustainability and innovation are fundamental to everything we do at Knauf Insulation. The content within showcases how we can unlock money for renovation, the challenge of climate change, as well as how energy efficiency can create jobs and growth.”
Knauf Insulation Provides An Exceptional External Solution
Knauf Insulation’s ThermoShell® rock External Wall Insulation (EWI) system has helped to refurbish a five-storey building containing 54 flats. St Winifred’s in Croydon had the insulation fitted as part of a project by housing association, A2Dominion, to improve the energy efficiency of the one and two-bedroom flats. Knauf Insulation’s EWI system helped to achieve this upgrade. Residents are now enjoying comfortable and warm apartments, along with a reduction in their fuel bills.
Laura Donovan, Project Manager at A2Dominion commented: “We were experiencing damp and mould problems in the St Winifred’s flats. We therefore worked with infrastructure consultancy Mitie to find the best solution.”
As such, Knauf Insulation’s ThermoShell EWI was seen as the perfect fit for this project. The system meets current thermal regulations and is breathable to allow for the removal of water vapour, providing a healthier indoor climate and reducing associated problems with damp and condensation. Additionally, it is particularly suited to high-rise buildings and blocks of flats because it is externally insulated, meaning minimum disruption to occupants.
Johan van Zyl, regional operations manager at Mitie, said: “The U-values in the building are now 0.27W/m2k, which is far superior to what was being achieved before.
“The application of the ThermoShell rock EWI system has also helped to eliminate cold bridging, which will vastly improve any areas that had previously suffered from condensation and mould growth within the habitable areas. This has helped to take the residents out of fuel poverty by significantly reducing their fuel bills. Meanwhile, the weather resilient and hardwearing finish we selected for the project was TS-Silicone, a finish that is ideally suited for medium and high-rise applications as well as other high exposure projects.
“The project turnaround was a major factor as the work had to be done as quickly as possible for residents. With 75% of our installers on the project not able to install the EWI system, Knauf Insulation organised to get them trained up quickly at its training facility in Birmingham, this meant the project was delivered on time. The team at Knauf Insulation were brilliant; they were there every step of the way onsite to assist with anything that we needed.”
Chancellor's Spending Review - thoughts from Josh Robson
The spending review has failed to recognise the far reaching benefits of an energy efficiency programme. Indeed, too much emphasis has been placed on energy supply instead of on a domestic energy efficiency scheme, which will help to reduce winter deaths. Here, Knauf Insulation’s Head of Public Affairs, Josh Robson, responds to the Chancellors statement with a three part story: the mediocre, the bad and the risky.
Energy efficiency was in the Chancellor’s statement, but the gritty realism needed to tackle issues that the UK faces sits unused in the wings.
On the same day that George Osborne introduced plans to increase the projected budget surplus in 2020-21 – with the Government taking in more than it spends – the Office for National Statistics announced that 44,900 preventable deaths took place last winter. This is more than double the previous year; it is the highest number for half a decade.
Warmer, more comfortable homes have been repeatedly shown to reduce the risk of illness and preventable deaths in winter, but an early view of policy does not suggest a serious attempt to change this picture. We have a three part story: the mediocre, the bad and the risky. The question is what can the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) do with what they have been given?
Leading Manufacturer Welcomes Labour MP To Northern Base
The recent Spending Review revealed that the Northern economy is growing faster than the South. Knauf Insulation welcomed Labour MP Marie Rimmer, to one of its leading Northern manufacturing plants to discuss energy efficiency policies and challenges.
During the tour of Knauf Insulation’s St Helens factory, Labour MP for St Helens South and Whiston, Marie Rimmer, met local workers who explained how the sustainable manufacturing process works for energy saving insulation. There was also an opportunity to discuss some of the significant changes to energy efficiency policy over the last year and recent announcements made by George Osborne in the Autumn Statement.
Commenting on the visit, Marie Rimmer said: “It was pleasing to see so many local people, faces that I know, working in this factory. As I said during my maiden speech in the House of Commons, St Helens South and Whiston has always been at the leading edge of innovation and creativity. Following the demise of previous industries like coal mining companies like Knauf Insulation are now leading the way on sustainable and advanced manufacturing in the country.
“Last winter 43,900 people passed away during the cold weather. This is the highest number for ten years and was announced on the day that George Osborne reduced schemes to help the country’s most vulnerable households.
“Around 2.3 million UK homes are affected by fuel poverty and I believe that that energy efficiency should be a national infrastructure priority. I’m proud of the work that Knauf Insulation are doing to help tackle this cold homes scandal.”
Josh Robson, Head of Public Affairs at Knauf Insulation, commented: “It was a pleasure to host Marie at our St Helens factory. Her enthusiasm in supporting the work we do as a local company and in promoting energy saving measures to reduce fuel poverty is both welcome and encouraging.
“Warmer, more comfortable homes have been repeatedly shown to reduce the risk of illness and preventable deaths in winter, but an early view of policy announced in the government’s plans for this parliament does not suggest a serious move in this direction.
The reality is that if your home is under insulated, energy bills will be higher than they need to be, even if you switch. We will continue to work alongside politicians as new policy is brought forward to make sure that everyone has a fair chance to have a comfy home.”